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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 20, 2009 12:30pm-1:00pm EDT

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is going to cost. i am pessimistic about any of this happening because, whether it is the service staff, we have a nightmare. we have lost most of the capabilities that we had in the years when i first started out. is kind of shocking. making this happen now, i am pessimistic. we have got to change. >> the technical wizard, you are in deep yogurt. >> just push the up and down
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button. >> a little disclaimer, this briefing is almost entirely concerned with the history of the u.s. air force and its predecessors but this is not to say we are beating on one service. we are very open-minded about a rock in any service. when i say air power rod, i mean air power route across the marine corps, the navy and the air force, so this is not a diatribe against the air force. i just want you to know that. what i am saying here applies in full force to the other services, so think of this as purple what. the roots of the rock are very simple and plain. at the top of the list, they're very closely interrelated. these are not independent problems. but you really have to focus on
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the question, before world war ii and american air power, we have always focused on the wrong mission and we have done that for a number of bureaucratic reasons and incentive reasons. we have focused purely on the idea of strategic bombing, which is dominated by the theology of an italian general from world war run -- world war i who wrote the seminal book on bombing. he presented his theory which the u.s. air force jumped on with glee and has adhered to ever since, the idea that by simply bombing the enemy, you could win wars without any land forces at all. that is an appalling lease to the idea and you will see why as we go through the historical
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evidence. this is at the root of everything we're doing in their power today across all the surfaces. separate from that but related to it is the question of the wrong aircraft, in part because of the incentives, we build airplanes that are vastly too in this -- expensive, and related to combat and too few, and the incentive plays into this, and the reason for the other things happening, which is officers get promoted to maximize the budget, officers who hurt the budget get pushed out. it is that simple. and the result is obvious. as you keep pushing, you see what my colleagues have shown, shrinking forces, aging forces, ever more money, and for less capability and effort less service to the country and service to the people who have to fight with these things.
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in principle, curing this is really easy, this is not hard to figure out. what you have to do is take a practical view towards the history of war and look at combat in the most detailed level possible and look at the money you spend. i would say you have to go back 70 years, you can't just go back 5 or 10 years. you have to look at the larger span of time. you will find some very interesting and perfectly clear observations on how you need to go. you take those observations, if you design weapons around what has worked in combat, you will come out with amazingly
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inexpensive forces of amazing size which completely cure the shrinking forces. we will demonstrate that very briefly. the chapter goes into that in much greater detail. starting with a look at the combat history in our involvement in europe, first thing you need to know is a huge proportion was spent, we spend more on bombers than fighters, 8% of combat force budget for europe was bombers. half was spent on air, all of that on bombing. it slowed down our progress in the war and contributed to american casualties. as far as the bombing campaigns
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in europe, the results are really clear, it was a distinguished panel after world war ii. they said 8 of 9 campaigns against specific targets failed. the cost was very high, this was not a free ride as everybody thought, 50,000 air men were lost in the process of bombing germany. the bombers failed to get through, they've defeated by german fighters until we got enough fighters in late in the process and 1100 turn things around, made possible the normandy landings, the real air impact had nothing to do with the strategic bombers, it had to do with the handful, 1200 p 37s, under a brilliant general.
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they saved the day. they made possible patton's amazing advance across france. what do we have here? it is not advancing. >> when you have these types of wizards you are in trouble. [inaudible conversations] >> okay. and overall, what did the
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bombing do? it stiffened german resolve to continue the war, and strengthen the nazi regime. interestingly enough, exactly what the germans did to the english when they bombed england, they stood in the english resolve where production proved, the regime, much strengthened in their attempts to pursue the war. , but you will see that over and over again in the history of strategic bombing. in korea, right after world war ii, the bomber general really took over the air force, cut the fighters to almost nothing, force the most brilliant combat leader we had out of the air force because he was the bobber guy, still advocating fighters and tactical support. and we inherited a whirlwind when korea broke out, we had a small army taskforce totally overwhelmed by the north
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koreans, being pushed down the peninsula. what did the air force do? they saw -- they sent 90 b 29s with the proposition that if they firebombed a bunch of cities, the same stupidity, and what happens was the commanders diverted the be 29s, close support. 12,000 casualties in the first few months. by the way, just to contrast, at that time, the marine corps and the navy, they were very suited for close support, they did brilliant work as opposed to the air force that totally banning out on a mission. one of the most brilliant examples was the marine
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division. they save the day for the division, 7 chinese divisions, the opposite of the strategic bombing results. they leveled every big city in north korea. was the effect? we lost a bunch of bombers? resupply to the korean and chinese armies were unimpeded, the north koreans were not at all forced to go to the peace table which is another thing you will see over and over again. at the same time, you saw from the budget charts that there is a huge spike in spending
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particularly for the air force, the air force diverted all that money, spend none of it on korea and diverted it into nuclear bombers, couldn't possibly be used, took the money and ran for their own hobbies. they cut our fighters to a thousand. antiquated fighters were unsuited for the mission. they got decimated. we kept feeding from our inventory. when we ran out of them, we force the f 4 down the secretary's for wrote.
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quickly converted to a strategic bomber, lost 445 of those, so we had a thousand airplanes doing strategic bombing, you will see the results in a moment. in the south, there was a support efforts. the ancient propeller airplane it did so well for the navy and korea, we only had 50 of them, but they did brilliant work. so you see it again. all we did was stiffen the resistance of the north. coach seamen's regime was strengthened by our bombing and the north vietnamese refuse to come to the negotiating table until we were ready to offer a surrender which we did, and we left. it had nothing to do with bombing. you can see a similar pattern in the gulf war. i will skip over some of this because it is so similar to the
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previous pattern. it was the same thinking, bomb them into submission, it totally fails. it was a major failure of strategic bombing. we thought we could get serbia to submit to terms that were totally undefeated. after 78 days of bombing. we offered better terms than they wanted in order to end war. just to show you the possibilities of doing business differently, if we continue business as usual, there is a simple pattern, the air force presents an expensive wish list, right now is a trillion dollars over is the next 20 years and, 3,000 airplanes.
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it will never happen. they had gone from that list with the secretary of defense, and lots of input from congress. they stretched out programs, and eventually they get down to $12 billion a year in procurement which is what we have been running. and we run something substantially less than 50 airplanes premier. basically that process is what leads to these shrinking forces. this is what you get if you keep on doing this. the airplanes are on the order of 30-year-old. our airplanes are older than our ships. all this because of super high
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technology. there is an alternative. if you study the combat history, and sit down a sense of airplanes. if we did that, today would be a wonderful time to do it. i sat down with bob and we designed the concept for four new airplanes. the first is the most important, a close supporter airplane. it does a better job than the a 10. it is more survivable, more maneuverable, cheaper, although we put in at the cost of the a 10 to be very conservative. something people don't think about, is a tiny observation plane, close support doesn't work, we emphasize that.
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that is an airplane off of current production of the commercial airplane, it is excellent for getting you next to the troops you are supporting. so the observers were helping bring in the close support, live with the troops. another mission almost totally ignored by the air force for 15 years or so, emergency airlift to people who are beyond concrete runways, surrounded, ambushed, out of ammunition and so on. there is an enormous need then there is for a huge airlifters. the new one is an enormous
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advance, the idea was to make an airplane much smaller than what we had, vastly more agile, and the intention was to make the best dog fighter in the world. what we put together is exactly that. and airplane 30% smaller than the f-16 based on the existing engine. you don't have to build a new engine. it is based on electronics, they admit no signals rather than the phony stuff we advertise to day. and because of the unbelievably hot performance, it will not fight any fighter in the world, not excluding the f-22. if we do that, if we look at those 4 airplanes, plus the usual tankers and other support airplanes, and program that out over the next 20 years, spending
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exactly what we're spending today, $12 billion a year, we get the following amazing results, you can actually buy 10,000 new airplanes, that is including -- restraining my radicalism, we actually kept some of our commitments on the joint strike fighter, even though we both think it is the total turkey. that is still in the budget, that is limiting our 10,000 airplanes, we get 10,000 airplanes that have devastating support capability, no air force in the world has ever seen a capability like this. air superiority that it again, unheard of at any point in history because of the superiority of the superfighter. astonishingly, because these new airplanes came in. this capability would actually exist at the onset of any conflict we need to get into,
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that is absolutely a first in u.s. air power history. we are never with close support or air superiority and we are rarely even ready to do the strategic bombing we shouldn't be doing. those are the possibilities, if you take a sensible look at the history of what worked in combat and what didn't. i am extraordinarily pessimistic about whether this would happen but it is certainly worth pursuing and letting people know the missed opportunity if we go along with the system as it is, the promotion of officers for maximizing budgets and covering up problems and all that, what we are foregoing is something that would really serve the nation far better and serve our people in uniform better. [applause] >> thank you very much.
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i have seen a number of journalists in the audience. i want to pose the question of how do we take what we have in the building and the congress and deliver what we want? i am encouraging any questions from the audience. >> the capability in the services has dwindled down, i have seen that happen myself. is there any way to accelerate the reinvention, regeneration of that kind of capability? it takes a long time to go with the normal flow. >> it is really quite simple.
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you have a historic moment that is right for it internationally, we don't have a big threat breathing down our neck. we have a hiatus in terms of aircraft. we see ads for dominance, we have an opportunity to therapy's designs and start over again and do it right. we have a new president who has talked about change presumably to the pentagon. so far we are getting none of that. i admire secretary gates for the spine he showed in firing 3 people who desperately needed to
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be fired. still the wrong number of digits in the people who need to be fired, but he also brought on to his team voices of the past that didn't just tolerate the kinds of -- he fostered a new currency. this is not going to bring the change we need. they're about to make a decision to make everything work. the cost, the aging, all of it worse. they're going to make a compromise on the f-22, it seems if what i read in the papers is correct. we are headed straight -- not taking advantage of this historic opportunity to do things right. >> if i could follow up, ok, but
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where do you find the interest to drive them to more rational, intelligent decisions? >> the ads should be running in the washington post. not the hundred thousand jobs you would lose if you didn't build the f-22. they claim it took 100,000 jobs to build 184 airplanes. >> we haven't built those yet. >> it should read let's get rid of this over cost turkey and build a few thousand real fighters and we can spread that network into the same network that congress wants to achieve, so you can actually increase the economic investment and job stimulus even though fighter
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planes are a horrible idea for economic stimulus. if you have leadership that understands the current system and how to leverage that system, then you could move ahead. it won't be easy, they will fight it tooth and nail and try to get rid of you. it is simple but it is not easy. >> i hate to sound like a slammer, but if you look back at when you were in the pentagon, i can't see that happening again until we have a major change in the military. with all that you did, if you did in have those drivers on staff, people in uniform willing to put their career on the line,
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to make those 2 airplanes happen, the same thing's happening in the services, if you look at the leadership of the military services, it is sick. i sat and watched, maybe i shouldn't be saying this, i watch donald rumsfeld interview -- working for him. when i saw these guys on his calendar. the job they went into. the leadership for the most part is in that moment. >> that is too much money.
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>> the guy we respect enormously, when it comes to war. the money ruins the people, and the defense ruins your officer corps, it ruins their fighting ability. that is reaping but whirlwind in iraq and afghanistan. >> you mentioned the willingness of people to come forward, good accountability mechanism, the military service, there was a debate going on about legislation for national security. how important is that,
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establishing some real credibility, the accountability process. >> danielle can speak to this better than i can. >> it would be great to have legislate. we had some bills down their merry path. there is a sense in the pentagon that someone is looking over their shoulder. i don't care if they get a sense that someone is looking over their shoulder or somebody in congress is looking over their shoulder. they feel free to do what they want at any cost and when they need more money which is constantly they know how to push
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the buttons. a whistle-blower attitude is part of the mentality where there is oversight being performed in both of those places that you are not getting right now. in congress, you see some hearings that pretend to be oversight but what you are really getting his senators and house members asking halfy questions. reading off of their question, not listening to for not understanding the baloney nature of the answer and reading on to the next read off question and they call that oversight. until you get the mentality on capitol hill that these things are taken seriously you are not going to get much legislation or a sense, like they said in
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blazing saddles, we have to save our phony baloney jobs here. we don't have that sense and it is very sad. >> last time i checked, there were $7 billion of pentagon money unaccounted for, they don't know where they spend it. >> exactly. $700 billion. >> what can we do in the immediate term to have oversight and start accounting and knowing where this money goes? >> the individual in control in the 90s, responsible for exactly that, worked assiduously and successfully at making it worse. he is promoted to be the number 2 in the department of defense, secretary of defense. ..

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